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Headscratchers / Angels in the Outfield

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  • Why is it OK for angels of God to influence the outcome of games? Why couldn't God detect the sarcasm of Roger's dad's fateful words?
    • It's a "kill two birds with one stone" thing. The angels influence the outcome of relatively meaningless games (not influencing games that had major repercussions with one exception) to have the coach feel genuine affection for Roger & JP, leading to both of them to get a good home, as well as make the coach a better person and provide a Magic Feather for The Team. As for The Needs of the Many, the good book says "Ask you shall receive". Roger asked and, as far as we know, no one else did. God knew that Roger's dad was being sarcastic but Roger didn't pick up on it.
    • Part of it is also the fact that Roger asked in a very distinct way from the way most people ask God to help a team win. Most people just want the team to win because they like the team or they feel it will give them bragging rights over fans of other teams or they want to win money. Roger asked for the team to win because he sincerely wanted his father back. Thus there is now a less selfish and multi-layered reason for God to do this. 1) It accomplishes the above points of helping all the various people on the team improve their lives and feel better about themselves and others, 2) it gives Roger hope, and 3) it gives Roger's dad a chance to make good on his (sarcastic) promise and become a better man (even if he chose not to do so, but then that's a consistent aspect of stories like this, God can offer the opportunities but it's still up to people to make good on them).
  • So, what's the playoff structure for the league in this film? The Wild Card hadn't been invented yet, and the playoff structure back in 1993 (the last full season before the film is set) had two American League teams play a best-of-seven series, the League Championship Series, in order to go to the World Series. Yet, throughout the series, the World Series isn't mentioned once. Is this supposed to take place in a timeline where the baseball postseason is a one-and-done championship, a la the Super Bowl? The Angels end up winning the pennant, but that's simply winning the LCS by this point, not the World Series. And it has to be the LCS too, since the team the Angels are facing in the final game is the Chicago White Sox, and even back in 1993/1994, the Angels and White Sox were both in the American League.
    • Since the original film was pre-1969 division-era, the single-table setup where there's no playoffs at all and whoever has the best record at the end of the season wins the pennant makes the most sense. Taking from what Ranch Wilder says before the penultimate game (the one Roger couldn't attend because of the court hearing and the Angels subsequently lost and JP cried and Knox tried to console him), the White Sox were one game back at that point — the Angels' loss would have left them tied and made the final game the de-facto playoff game to finish first. Also, someone check me, but I remember one brief clip during the Miracle Rally of the Angels showing them steadily climbing the standings table included teams from both the then-Eastern and Western Divisions combined into one.
      • Checked. The montage only shows the AL Western Division as it was in 1993, involving Chicago, Kansas City, Minnesota, Seattle, California, Texas, and Oakland. If the film used the pre-expansion table, Kansas City and Seattle wouldn't have even been active yet (they joined MLB in 1969), and the Texas Rangers would still have been the Washington Senators. On that note, the Toronto Blue Jays, one of the Angels opponents in the film (most notably at the start), wouldn't have existed either, as they joined MLB in 1977.
      • In that case, this seems like an error on the writers' part stemming from hodgepodge-ing the different playoff systems MLB has had over the years. Could have rectified it just by having the final opponent be someone from the East and making the final series of games be the ALCS.